Council backs Green initiative to link parking charges to pollution

The Green Councillor Group on City of Edinburgh Council has won backing for its proposal to revise parking charges according to vehicle pollution.

The measures were approved unanimously by the full City Council this afternoon. City officials will now prepare a report on how a scheme could be introduced. The Greens say the move will encourage the use of more climate friendly vehicles and discourage gas guzzlers.

Edinburgh is understood to be the first local authority in Scotland to consider such a scheme. Such schemes have been introduced other parts of the UK including Richmond, Woking in Surrey and in London.

The scale of charges could apply to residents’ parking permits and to parking charges. Fuel efficient vehicles would be charged less than gas guzzlers. The UK Government already has a sliding scale of vehicle licence charges based on vehicle emissions.

Green Councillor, Steve Burgess said: 

“I’m very pleased that all parties on Edinburgh Council have agreed that officials should bring forward a scheme to relate parking charges to vehicle CO2 emissions. Such a scheme could significantly reduce climate change pollution from cars in the City.

“We have to address the significant contribution to climate pollution from road traffic and this is a relatively straightforward measure for the Council to bring in. It rewards owners of less polluting vehicles and requires gas guzzlers to pay more.

“United Nations scientists have just given us a very stark warning in their latest report about climate change that we have to get serious about reducing pollution. The good news is that if we all start to act now, we can stop the worst impacts of climate change.

“As Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh has an opportunity to lead the country in tackling the pollution that is contributing to climate change.  We have to look at all the ways available to us to reward climate-friendly behaviour and encourage more environmentally friendly lifestyles.

“This will also send a strong message to people that their Council is taking climate change seriously.

NOTES:

1.  Green motion for debate City of Edinburgh Council, Thursday, 22 November 2007

10.18 By Councillor Burgess – Parking Charges Based on Vehicle Emissions

“That this Council:

1) Recognises that vehicle emissions are one of the main and fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas pollution contributing to climate change.

2) Recognises that without intervention traffic in Scotland is predicted to increase by almost 30% by 2021.

3) Notes that other UK local authorities have introduced parking charges based on the amount of carbon dioxide produced by different types of vehicle in order to encourage the use of vehicles with lower emissions.

4) Agrees to call for a report on the introduction of differential parking charges in Edinburgh based on vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.�

ENDS